Content (in a language they understand) is what makes people want to use the Internet. One of the actions therefore within the eEurope programme is the launch of the eContent programme to support the production and dissemination of European digital content. Building upon the successes of the INFO2000 and MLIS (Multilingual Information Society) programmes which terminated in 1999, the Commission proposed the eContent Programme ("Multiannual Community programme to stimulate the development and use of European digital content on the global networks and to promote the linguistic diversity in the Information Society"). The eContent programme was adopted by the Council on 22 December 2000.
of the eContent Programme:
- May 2000 - presented and adopted by the Commission The Commission proposal COM(2000)323 for eContent foresaw a programme budget of 150 million Euro over five years (2001-2005).
- 14 December 2000 - approved by the Parliament The European Paliament subsequently supported the proposal and increased the funding to 170 million euro over four years . The EP also proposed to prioritise towards enhancing linguistic and cultural customisation.
- 22 December 2000 - adoption by the Council This proposal was strongly opposed by four Member States (UK, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands). The Council finally agreed to 100 million Euro over four years (2001-2005) .
The eContent Programme includes action in what the EU deems to be three crucial areas: - stimulating the exploitation of public sector information - enhancing linguistic and cultural customisation - supporting market enablers
- 18 January 2001: eContentprogramme launch
- 15 March 2001 - adoption by the Commission of work programme for the years 2001-2002 and 1st call for proposals for the eContent programme
- May 2001 - eContent partner finding service launched in collaboration with CORDIS
- November 2001: Second call
- December 2002: Third call
- By the end of 2003 the Commission would make a proposal for a follow up programme to the eContent programme.